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Witchford near Ely villagers bemused by ‘stop start’ double yellow lines

Witchford parish council applied last year for on-street waiting restrictions

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Villagers who successfully campaigned to get yellow lines on a number of roads have been left bemused by gaps caused by workmen who had to move round parked cars to get the work done. The visual outcome, in Witchford near Ely, has become a major talking point although the county council says it will return to plug the gaps.

A county council spokesperson said: “Putting in new yellow lines often requires us to make repeat visits due to parked cars. We will return to complete these works as soon as possible.”

But not all residents are happy to have any yellow lines, even though a village poll supported the proposals.

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County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Witchford, Ely Saturday 20 April 2024.

One 75-year-old told the BBC: “The lines suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

“Cars have been parking in the gaps left between the double yellows.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Witchford, Ely Saturday 20 April 2024.

“It is ridiculous that we didn’t know. I have lived here 14 years – I think people might start parking outside my house, because the lines are not around my property.”

However, Witchford parish council applied last year for on-street waiting restrictions to be introduced in parts of the village.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Witchford, Ely Saturday 20 April 2024.

And their plans were approved by Cambridgeshire County Council in December.

A report by the county council said the restrictions were to “tackle instances of indiscriminate parking primarily close to junctions”.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Witchford, Ely Saturday 20 April 2024.

The restrictions prohibit parking at any time (double yellow lines) at the Common Road/Field End junction and along Field End, including the junctions of Granary End, Quinton Road, and Victoria Road.

Witchford Parish Council undertook a preliminary consultation in July 2023.

“The response was strong support from residents for parking restrictions, particularly in Field End opposite Quinton Road,” said the county council report.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

“The parish council received 23 replies, with 17 supporting double yellow lines and 6 opposed.”

The report said that before introducing new parking restrictions there was a statutory requirement for the council to publish a notice of intention to inform interested parties.

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It allowed the public to formally object to or submit other representations on the proposals in writing within a minimum 21-day notice period.

The county council also consulted organisations such as the emergency services, and others affected by the proposals.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Witchford, Ely Saturday 20 April 2024.

A notice was published in the Ely Standard on 20th September 2023 and the statutory consultation period ran until 12th October 2023.

Notices and additional information were available on the council’s website. Households likely to be directly affected were individually consulted by letter.

A total of 4 written representations were received, 3 raising objections and 1 supporting the proposals.

“A total of 38 households and businesses received consultation letters, so the number of objections received was relatively small,” said the county council.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris Witchford, Ely
Saturday 20 April 2024.

County council contractors plan a return visit to Witchford near Ely to complete installation of yellow lines. They missed some spots because cars were parked there when they came to carry out the lining. PHOTO: Terry Harris
Witchford, Ely Saturday 20 April 2024.

“Having reviewed details of the proposals and taking into account the written representations received, the traffic manager, after consultation with Councillor Lorna Dupre, decided that the waiting restrictions should be implemented.”

The report said the main discussion points included the fact that at the junction of Field End and Common Road “there appears to be a frequent issue with indiscriminate parking, possibly related to the nearby business park.

“The parked vehicles obstruct visibility for drivers turning out of Field End and generally create vehicular conflict. The proposed double yellow lines should ensure that the junction remains clear of parked vehicles, whilst still allowing parking at less critical locations.

“At the junctions of Field Road, Granary End, Quinton Road, and Victoria Green the parking issues are less obvious.

“There appears to be a high level of on-street parking at some times, but less on other occasions. It is accepted that some of the parking is by tradespeople working in the area, so may be temporary”.

The report added: “However, the parking does create vehicular conflict and the situation is expected to worsen in time. Most, if not all, nearby properties have off-street parking, so the double yellow lines are unlikely to be a serious inconvenience to local people. Unrestricted lengths of on street parking will remain in Field End and other roads.”

Earlier this year the parish council agreed to pay £3,391 for the double yellow lines to be put down.

But some residents remain concerned with another telling the BBC that the yellow lines continue past her property, meaning she cannot not legally park outside her home any more.

“We have lived here for 24 years and now have double yellow lines surrounding the whole boundary of our house,” she said.

“My husband has to park his car up the road, out of our vision, and on the first night it was vandalised when someone scratched the boot

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